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  • Erin Egnatz

Old New Gate Prison: Connecticut

Located in East Grandby, Connecticut, Old New Gate Prison was the United States first prison, officially speaking, opening in 1773. Before becoming a prison, the site was used as a copper mine until the 1740's. Mining has never been a safe profession, and going back 300 years, I would imagine it was a downright dangerous job. Interestingly, some of the old mine shafts can still be seen at the location today.


After the mine closed, the land sat for awhile before turning into the prison. The prison was set up to house many of the convicts below ground in the old mines. The first prisoner was brought in for theft and burglary in 1773. He remained at the prison until the following year when he escaped.


In 1775, the Revolutionary War broke out leading to the old mines on the prison grounds to be converted to holding cells for the British prisoners of war as well as the American loyalists to the crown. The conditions where absolutely horrible. Disease, lack of nutrition and unsanitary conditions led to a nightmarish experience.


Following the war, the prison was designated a Connecticut State prison, and would go on to house offenders until 1827. It was then that the site was abandoned. In the 1860's, the location started to become somewhat of a tourist attraction and many of the first experiences with the paranormal began.


For the past 160 years, claims of paranormal activity have come from visitors of the Old New Gate Prison. Ghostly apparitions have been seen lurking around the old mines/cells. Disembodied voices can be heard, rather clearly, calling out to visitors as they pass. Some have reported feelings of being touched, while others have felt unnaturally cold spots. Shadow figures, loud banging and illuminated orbs have also been seen on the old grounds.


This is certainly a stop I want to make when I get a chance to visit Connecticut. From the rich history to the ghostly activity, it is the perfect place to check out.


Photo by: Shanshan0312


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